|Tejas LSP-4 integrated with Derby missile|
India's indigenous fighter jet Tejas, has successfully demonstrated its Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile (BVRAAM) capability, by launching a Israeli Rafael Derby BVRAAM missile in radar guided mode.
The trial demonstrated the successful integration of the Derby missile with the aircraft, and was the debut launch of an air to air missile with radar guidance from the platform.
The missile launch was performed in Lock ON after Launch mode in the look down mode and the target was destroyed.
The trail was conducted from the Interim Test Range (ITR), Chandipur against a maneuverable aerial target drone.
A safe separation was followed by missile guidance towards RADAR acquired target. The flawless launch was demonstrated with all on-board systems performing satisfactorily and the missile scored a direct hit on the target with complete destruction of it.
Tejas has already been integrated with Russian R-73 Short range air to air missile.
The Derby integration is a major milestone required by the program to achieve Final Operational Clearance for the aircraft. Initial Operational Clearance was achieved in 2013.
Three of the present MK1 variant of Tejas has been delivered to Indian Air Force out of the 40 aircraft ordered, in which the first 20 are in IOC configuration and the other in FOC configuration.
An interim upgraded version dubbed MK1A featuring an AESA radar, improved maintainability and Electronic Warfare suite is being developed, with first flight targeted in 2018. Indian Air Force have placed an order for 83 of the type.
The MK2 version under development is a major upgraded version featuring a higher thrust engine, a GE F414 engine replacing the present GE F404 turbofan engine along with increased overall performance and weapon payload capability.
A Naval version is also being developed, with the MK1 proving to be under powered for carrier operations, while the higher thrust MK2 version is expected to meet Indian Navy's requirements.
Other pending milestone to achieve the long delayed FOC campaign is the aerial refueling and onboard gun trials, which are expected to be completed by year end.
Flight envelope has been expanded to 8g, and an angle of attack of 26 degree has been achieved against 24 degree required for the FOC.
The delta winged Tejas is capable of carrying 3,500 kg of weapons under its six under wing and single under belly hard points.